I, too, have been tagged

My friend Tom tagged me for a little blogging confession:

The rules: Write about five guilty pleasures. In the end, you need to choose someone else to be tagged.

  1. enjoying a hot cup of black tea (no sugar)
  2. putting together a toy train track “for my boys”
  3. wearing house shoes
  4. listening to loud alternative music and jazz
  5. watching dumb romantic-comedy movies like “You’ve Got Mail.”

TAG! You’re it: Matthew T. & Chris M. – it’s your turn.

six months

Sixth months ago on August 16th, we landed in Budapest with our 12 bags, three car-seats, a double stroller, and a handful of dreams. Today, Laura and I carved out some time to talk, reflect, envision, and pray during our weekly couple conversation. I’d like to share some thoughts from our time.

Friends in Hungary: Since arriving in Hungary, we have gained many wonderful friends. In fact, we feel incredibly thankful for them.

As Péter and I were running (like the wind) through Hajógyári sziget yesterday, he taught me an awesome new way to say “I can’t understand that”: “számomra ez megfoghatatlan.” Thanks Péter for the eyebrow raising phrase! And last night our friends Ferenc and Gyöngyi came over to visit with their son Kornél. We sat and enjoyed some conversation, drinking hot tea while the boys played cowboys, spaceships, racecars, and pirate-ships. It doesn’t get better than that.

For all of our Hungarian friends reading this blog, thank you for giving us such a warm welcome!

Friends not in Hungary: It is true that “distance makes the heart grow fonder.” It’s amazing to think about how our friends have scattered throughout North America and the world. We’re increasingly grateful for the modern technology that keeps us connected. Your e-mails, letters, Skype calls and prayers encourage us beyond words. We’re waiting for you to come visit wonderful Magyarország!

Family: Home-sickness is a topic of conversation these days, and we’re often looking at family pictures. The boys love when we make up adventure stories and include the family (like granny riding on an elephant to catch a runaway balloon). It is a profound blessing to have a family who takes such an interest in our lives…even from afar. Our Hungarian friends are eager to meet you, and we can hardly wait for your Spring and Summer visits.

Comfort Zone: Whenever we have the opportunity to escape our comfort zone (the comfortable environments we’ve come to know and enjoy) so many thoughts come to the surface. Through the last six months we’ve been thinking about the concept of and desire for “home.” Here’s a quote from C.S. Lewis that’s encouraged us lately: “If I discover within myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.”

In short, as we reflect on our first six months in Hungary, we’re full of excitement and thankfulness. The next six months should be awesome!

AngolEst

Why do we park our cars on the driveway and drive our cars on the parkway? And why does skating on thin ice get us into hot water? I love teaching English, partly because of its funny and quirky aspects. I also love language because it has the power to convey ideas and to bridge the gap between people.

A couple years ago, my friend Kristof created a new English club called “AngolEst.” Every Thursday night, AngolEst meets in the loft of Lord Tennyson’s Teaház near Corvinus University. Kristof invited me a couple months ago, and I’ve really enjoyed the conversations. Its such a perfect environment for practicing and improving your English skills. Thanks Kristof for involving me in your club!

others

“I do not find in myself the power to be happy merely by doing what I like. On the contrary, if I do nothing except what pleases my own fancy I will be miserable almost all the time. This would never be so if my will had not been created to use its own freedom in the love of others.” -Thomas Merton, No Man is an Island

Flying Hungarians

Did you know that Hungarians can fly? No really, they do. This evening, I’ve been reviewing one of our Hungarian language lessons and thought I’d share a little linguistic nugget. The Hungarian word “száll” means “to fly.” Here’s how the word is used (in conjunction with pre-verbs) in everyday life:

“Az ember az autóbuszra utról száll fel.” Word for word, this means, “The person the bus onto street from on flies up.” In plain English…”The person flies up onto the bus from the street.”

“A fiu leszáll az autóról.” Which means, “The boy flies down from off of the car.” We would say, “The boy gets out of the car.”

“A negyes villamosról a hatas buszra száll át.” This means, “He flies off from the number four villamos over onto the number six bus.”

Hungarians just like to fly everywhere. Why not?

Want to see Budapest from Space?

Here’s something really really fun to check out. It’s called “Google Earth.” Go to earth.google.com and download the program. Once you’re in the program, put “Budapest” in the top left box and hit enter. You might want to buckle your seat belt though. If you’d like to see our apartment building, put “47 34 51.96, 19 02 20.04” in the box instead and press enter.

This is a fun way to see the world through satellite imagery. Be sure to try the zoom in, zoom out, and tilt functions!